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Title: Microenvironmental determinants of organized iPSC-cardiomyocyte tissues on synthetic fibrous matrices
Cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC-CMs) show great potential for engineering myocardium to study cardiac disease and create regenerative therapies. However, iPSC-CMs typically possess a late embryonic stage phenotype, with cells failing to exhibit markers of mature adult tissue. This is due in part to insufficient knowledge and control of microenvironmental cues required to facilitate the organization and maturation of iPSC-CMs. Here, we employed a cell-adhesive, mechanically tunable synthetic fibrous extracellular matrix (ECM) consisting of electrospun dextran vinyl sulfone (DVS) fibers and examined how biochemical, architectural, and mechanical properties of the ECM impact iPSC-CM tissue assembly and subsequent function. Exploring a multidimensional parameter space spanning cell-adhesive ligand, seeding density, fiber alignment, and stiffness, we found that fibronectin-functionalized DVS matrices composed of highly aligned fibers with low stiffness optimally promoted the organization of functional iPSC-CM tissues. Tissues generated on these matrices demonstrated improved calcium handling and increased end-to-end localization of N-cadherin as compared to micropatterned fibronectin lines or fibronectin-coated glass. Furthermore, DVS matrices supported long-term culture (45 days) of iPSC-CMs; N-cadherin end-to-end localization and connexin43 expression both increased as a function of time in culture. In sum, these findings demonstrate the importance of recapitulating the fibrous myocardial ECM in engineering structurally organized and functional iPSC-CM tissues.  more » « less
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
Biomaterials Science
Page Range / eLocation ID:
93 to 107
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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